Upon taking office, Mayor Benjamin launched the Mayor's Fellow program that has welcomed over 300 students to date.  The program is open to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and provides an opportunity to actively participate in the municipal government and gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government office operates. The Mayor's Fellow program caters to students satisfying class credit, fulfilling internship requirements, or those simply wishing to gain experience working in public service, the community, and the governmental arena.


Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Summer 2021 Fellowship has been conducted mostly virtually, with opportunities for in-person engagements. Some portions or functions of the Fall 2021 Fellowship may be conducted virtually, however at this time most functions and activities are planned as in-person engagements. PPE facemasks are required when working in or attending functions at Columbia City Hall or other City office buildings.


Responsibilities include assisting staff with research in various areas that may affect departments/agencies within the City of Columbia, helping with special projects and assisting with various office tasks. Fellows work closely with staff to identify best practices. City of Columbia’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Selected students will be asked to dedicate ten to twenty hours per week to the fellowship program. Professional attire is required for all Mayor's Fellows.

If you are interested in this program, please apply immediately. 

How to Apply 

Fall 2021 The application deadline has been EXTENDED TO MONDAY, August 16, 2021at 5:00 pm.

Application process for the Fall 2021 Fellow's term is now closed. 

The attached application, along with a resume and list of references, should be completed and emailed to [email protected], or mailed to: 

Office of Mayor Benjamin
Attn: Mayor's Fellows Program
1737 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29201
*In an effort to conserve paper, if you are able, please email the completed application.

Should you have any questions regarding the internship program or application, please contact Skot Garrick at [email protected], or 803-318-0024.

***Please note that this is an unpaid internship program.***

Meet the Fellows

Fall 2021 Fellows

Zoe Doan

Sofia Gomez

Blakely Hardin

Blakely Hardin, from Fort Mill, SC, is a second-year Honors student at the University of South Carolina, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Law and Society.  She hopes to complete an accelerated Master’s in Public Administration in conjunction with her Political Science BA and intends to pursue law school after she completes those degrees in 2024.  Blakely is involved in Student Government, Gamma Phi Beta, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Carolina CLIMB on campus.  She is honored to serve the City of Columbia as a Mayor’s Fellow and is excited to learn more about municipal government and be of assistance to various departments as they support their community. 

Jaheem McLaurin